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Timmy Solomito Looks To Get Back To Winning Ways at Seekonk

Former Race Winner Looking For First NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Checkered of 2018

After a month off, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season will continue on Saturday night at Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts.

And as race four of the season gets ready to take the green flag, if the first three races are indication of what is to come during the 16-race schedule, we should see plenty of different winners carry the checkered flag. Jon McKennedy, Justin Bonsignore and Ryan Preece have all been victorious thus far, and all three will be on the track when teams unload for the Seekonk 150.

Timmy Solomito and Doug Coby enter the event as some of the early favorites to score the victory because they won the last two times at the ‘Cement Palace,’ but there is a whole list of challengers looking to add their name to the trophy.

For Solomito, who tied Preece with a series-high five victories last season, the 2018 campaign hasn’t been off to the start his Flamingo Motorsports team was hoping for. He scored finishes of 12th, 10th and ninth in the first three races.

AUDIO: Solomito Talks About His Start To 2018

“Every year, everyone gets better, works hard on their cars in the winter, and there is a lot that plays into a race, it’s not only speed, but it’s the luck,” Solomito said. “I wouldn’t say we are missing something, but we aren’t exactly where we wanted to be. We’ve tried a couple of different strategies that didn’t work, and a couple of things with the setup didn’t go our way. But we aren’t going to let it let us down. We’ve been consistently a top-10 car, just not quite where we want to be.”

The standards for Solomito are high because of the effort the No. 16 team was able to put together last year. In their third season as a combination, the group came out of the box swinging and won three of the first six races. Although Solomito did have two DNFs in the summer, he entered the final race of the season in contention for the championship, which is really all he could ask for. Even though he didn’t win the big trophy, he did score the checkered flag in the finale at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Fast-forward, as the first three races go into the rear-view mirror, although the start wasn’t exactly what the team was hoping for, it really has put him in a good position when it comes to the championship standings. The Islip, New York, driver sits sixth with an average finish of 10.3, and Seekonk could be the perfect place for him to turn things around and get back to the front of the pack.

RACING-REFERENCE: Timmy Solomito

“I definitely look forward to going to the short-tracks, it’s what I grew up on, and what I know,” Solomito said. “Seekonk is similar to Riverhead Raceway, a place I grew up. I circle the short-track races (on the calendar) because I enjoy that style of racing. I’m looking forward to getting back to that.”

In 2016, in the first Whelen Modified Tour race at Seekonk since 2005, Solomito used a pass in the final laps to score the victory while leading 40 circuits around the tricky third-mile. Last year, he was involved in a crash early and was sidelined to a 22nd place finish.

“The year that we won at Seekonk, we got two flat tires in practice, and the day didn’t start off that bright,” Solomito said. “If you had told me at 2 p.m. that day that we were going to win the feature, I would have laughed at you. Last year, we had a strong run going (before we got in a wreck).”

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous Whelen Modified Tour races at Seekonk | Whelen Modified Tour drivers’ career stats at Seekonk

In what has become a rarity in Whelen Modified Tour competition, teams have been sitting at home and working on their cars for the last month in preparation for the Massachusetts’ third-mile.

“It’s always good to have a little bit of time off, but I have been champing at the bit the last few weeks to get going. If I could be in the race car every week, it would be great,” Solomito said. “The break came at a good time for us to regroup a little bit, look over everything, and just start out fresh. We have three or four races coming up in a stretch.”

After a year of nearly tasting glory as the champion of the NASCAR Modified class, Solomito finds himself looking for more consistency as he gets ready to return to the cockpit.

“We won five races last year, and didn’t come away with the big trophy, so if we take a couple less wins but run more consistently, it might put us where we need to be this year,” Solomito said. “I’m not upset or concerned right now. But, going forward, we will need those top five and podium finishes. I have a great owner, car, crew and sponsors. We’ll be fine. We just have to hit our stride, go back to our notes, and be consistent, while finishing the races.”

SEEKONK 150: RACE CENTER | ENTRY LIST | TICKETS

NWMT News & Notes:

Rowan Pennink in the Jan Boehler #3 Cape Cod Copper / USNE Inc. Chevrolet Michael JaworeckiMyracenews

Rowan Pennink Looks To Continue Success: Even though his missed the season-opening race at Myrtle Beach Speedway because of some offseason back surgery, Rowan Pennink has been on a tear since his return to competition. In two events, Pennink scored two third-place finishes, and capitalized on the struggles of some of his competition to place himself inside the top 10 in the championship standings. At first, missing a race may have seemed like the end of his hopes to capture his first Whelen Modified Tour championship this season. However, with the way the Boehler Racing team has the No. 3 Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet rolling on the track, it’s way to early to count Pennink out.

Jeff Rocco Behind The Wheel: Even though he enters Saturday’s Seekonk 150 with just three career Whelen Modified Tour starts, one of Jeff Rocco’s prior races did come at the Massachusetts third-mile last season. While driving for Bob Katon, Rocco started 16th and finished 19th after being involved in a crash. He becomes the third different driver in four races that car owner Eddie Harvey puts behind the wheel of the No. 1 Chevrolet. Burt Myers and Jimmy Blewett have been at the controls already so far in 2018.

Rising Stars Look To Continue Impressive Starts: Both Chase Dowling and Craig Lutz have put together quite the start to the 2018 season. In fact, both of them sit inside the top three in the championship standings. Dowling has an average finish of 4.7 so far, while Lutz has ripped off a 5.3 behind the wheel of the No. 46 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet. As both of the rising modified stars get set to take on Seekonk, they both may have a learning curve ahead of them. Lutz has a 13th and 14th place finish in his career at Seekonk, while Dowling will look to improve on his ninth-place effort in 2016.

Whelen All-American Series: Because of some early rain to start the 2018 season, Seekonk will also begin their Whelen All-American Series season on Saturday night. The Late Models (50 laps), Sports Trucks (35 laps) and Sportsman (35 laps) will all compete in Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series event to kick-off their chase for the championship.

Up Next: The Seekonk 150 is the first of three races in the month of June. On June 13, drivers will make the second of two stops at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut for the Thompson 125. Then, on June 23, the series makes their second stop at Langley Speedway in Virginia.

Matt Hirschman Looks To Steal Spotlight At Seekonk

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Returns To “Cement Palace”

 We’re past Memorial Day weekend, which means the unofficial start of the summer swing for racing is set to get underway. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East runs its sixth of 14 race events on the 2018 championship schedule this weekend at the three-quarter mile Memphis International Raceway Saturday evening. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads to Massachusetts to the third-mile Seekonk Speedway Saturday night.

NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR at SEEKONK

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

After getting the month of May off, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is back in action with the tour’s third consecutive trip to “The Cement Palace” and ninth overall.

While the focus will be on the championship chase, Matt Hirschman is looking to steal the spotlight. The Northampton, Pennsylvania, driver, won the pole and led 62 laps last year before finishing fourth.  While he’s still looking for his first tour win since 2008, he started the year strong by winning the tour-type Modified title at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway and finishing third in the tour opener at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway.

Four-time defending tour champion Doug Coby is looking to get his season on track. He’s seventh in points and the defending race winner, and showed last year not to count him out too early. Coby has three top fives in four starts at Seekonk.

Justin Bonsignore holds a one-point lead on Chase Dowling, and has a pair of top 10s in two events.

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous Whelen Modified Tour races at Seekonk | Whelen Modified Tour drivers’ career stats at Seekonk

RACE FACTS

RACE SEEKONK 150
PLACE Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway
DATE Saturday, June 2
TIME 8 p.m. ET
TELEVISION NBCSN, Wednesday, June 6 – 7 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT .333-mile oval
2017 WINNER Doug Coby
2017 POLE Matt Hirschman
EVENT SCHEDULE Saturday — Garage opens: 12:15 a.m. PT; Final Practice: 2:30-3:50 p.m.; Group qualifying: 5:30 p.m.; Seekonk 150: 8 p.m.
TWITTER @SeekonkSpeedway
HASHTAG #Seekonk150 #NWMT

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST | TICKETS

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The maximum starting field is 28 cars, including provisionals.

Qualifying groups will be determined by each vehicle’s overall fastest single lap from the official practice sessions.

The first 22 cars will secure starting positions based on group qualifying session. The remaining six spots will be awarded through the provisional process.

Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine starting positions 1st through 22nd. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not
return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete.

The Seekonk 150 will 150 laps (49.99 miles). Maximum of three (3) crew members permitted over the wall at any time during the event. Teams may only change one (1) tire on a single pit stop. Teams will be permitted to swap/move tire locations.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eight (8) tires per team. Four (4) tires used for qualifying must be used to begin the race. The tire change rule is zero (0).

Seekonk To Crown PASS Champion in October Pro All Star Series North Added To Haunted Hundred Schedule

By: Kyle Souza, for Seekonk Speedway

SEEKONK, Mass. – For the first time since 2012, Pro All Star Series Super Late Models will return to the “Cement Palace” of Seekonk Speedway in 2018.

A 150-lap main event has been scheduled for Saturday, October 27, adding to an already impressive lineup of racing that includes the Tri Track Open Modified Series and Late Models at the Massachusetts oval. The race will also be the finale for the PASS schedule, which means the 2018 series champion will be crowned following the checkered flag.

“We’re really excited to get to work with Wayne Darling of the Tri Track Open Modified Series,” Tom Mayberry, the president of PASS said. “And, we are happy to return to the “Cement Palace” to crown the 2018 PASS North champion.”

Seekonk runs Super Late Models on a weekly basis as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, and in some of the most recent PASS action at Seekonk, drivers that run weekly seem to have put together a stout effort. In 2009, Tom Scully Jr., held off champion Ben Rowe en route to the win in the 150-lap affair, while in 2010, defending Seekonk Pro Stock champion David Darling won the race, holding off Trevor Sanborn. In 2011, Johnny Clark found his way into Victory Lane, while DJ Shaw won the most recent event in 2012.

For Darling, who captured the 2017 Seekonk Pro Stock title in dominating fashion, the opportunity to race against PASS drivers provides him and other local competitors a chance to defend the home turf.

“I think it’s pretty important (to defend our home turf),” Darling said. “Our cars are a lot closer to their cars now, — over the last few years the rule changes have made our cars more competitive with them.”

Among the outsiders coming in with the PASS on that Saturday afternoon will be Derek Griffith, who has already seen his fair share of success at the third-mile. In 2016, Griffith came off turn four battling for the lead on the final lap of the SLM Nationals, but came up just short in the end. Last year, he charged through the field in the second half of the 200-lap SLM Nationals feature, capturing the checkered flag and a smooth $10,000 paycheck with it.

“When they brought this up to us looking for some ideas, I was all for it,” Griffith said. “I think my worst finish there is third, so we have a great record. I’m looking forward to going back, especially as the championship race. To close out the year at a place we know we are really strong, we are going to go in pretty confident.”

As the addition to the Tri Track Open Modified Series “Haunted Hundred”, a race which will crown the Tri Track champion, PASS provides another opportunity for fans to see multiple different styles of cars in the same day. With the open-wheel modifieds, full-fendered SLM’s and Late Models, fans will have the chance to witness the finale of the New England racing season. The Tri Track race is scheduled for 100 laps, while the Late Models will run 60, and the PASS will run 150 circuits.

“It’s the last race of the year to decide two championships,” Wayne Darling, Managing Partner of the Tri Track Series said. “It’s a Pro Stock and a Modified show, and both of them are ending their points races. It’s a step in the right direction to make our show even better for the fans.”

For more information on Seekonk Speedway, fans can visit the track website, www.seekonkspeedway.com. For more information on the Pro All Star Series, including their entire 2018 racing schedule, fans can visit www.proallstarseries.com.

Additional details, including the event schedule for the day, will be released at a later date.